Young children often run rings around their parents and older siblings. They're excitable and have what can feel like boundless energy.
When a child or young person has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) this over-activity can be extreme and they may find it difficult to concentrate or control impulses. This can make environments like school or college particularly challenging.
ADHD starts at a very young age but may not be diagnosed until later. It's a long-term disorder and can last throughout adulthood.
How it can feel
Symptoms of ADHD can be put into three different categories:
- Inattentiveness – having a very short attention span, being easily distracted, being unable to concentrate, have difficulty following instructions, finding it hard to really listen to people when they’re talking to you, difficulty with organisation, constantly switching between tasks or being unable to finish tasks;
- Hyperactivity – being unable to sit still, feeling restless and fidgety, always being on the move, being very chatty and often find yourself interrupting other people;
- Impulsiveness – being unable to wait your turn (e.g. in a game, queue, conversation), acting without thinking first, failure to think about consequences and little or no sense of danger (e.g. around traffic).
It is important to remember that ADHD is a spectrum disorder – you can have these symptoms in ways that are mild, moderate or severe. Each person with ADHD will experience them differently.
When to seek help
If you feel like the these sorts of symptoms are starting to disrupt your everyday life or are affecting relationships, it may be time to get some extra support.
What support is available?
For under 16s - we offer support for children and teenagers diagnosed with ADHD who are also experiencing mental health problems. To access the service, you need to make a referral.
If you think your child may have ADHD, you will need to contact your GP, who can arrange for you to see an appropriate healthcare professional for diagnosis and support.
For over 16s - we offer support for young people with ADHD at our community hubs. Our team of dedicated mental health professionals provide self-help advice, therapy or medication where appropriate, as well as ADHD assessments if required. To access these services, please make a referral.